There are four major decisions taken during a software project, namely: when to begin, what to build, when to build, how to build, and which language to build it in. Software developers must decide when they’ll complete the project and how long it will take to achieve their goals. When should a software developer to stop working? The answer depends on the project’s goals and the complexity of the programming code. Likewise, when should the software be done?
The first phase of an effective project management methodology involves project planning. During this phase, managers will determine what the software’s functions and responsibilities are, who will have access to these functions and responsibilities, what resources are needed, and how these resources will be acquired and expended. Next, project planning will determine what software development capabilities are necessary and what software development processes will be used. This includes the identification of the scope of work, project management plan, and control procedures. It also includes the identification of software development requirements.
One of the most significant software development decisions involves determining what technologies are appropriate for an application’s purpose. For example, one application may be required to collect and transmit data from an outside location. In this case, information technology projects must comply with applicable laws that regulate electronic transmissions. Projects must also determine whether the technology that is used is subject to licensing restrictions or is BSC certified. Finally, projects must determine whether their technology is project-specific or generic and if it requires implementation according to the project management plan.
Identification of the scope of work is a critical piece of the planning process. This phase is commonly referred to as the PSPM or Scope of Work Management. There are a variety of project managers who use different terminology to describe the scope of work. Generally, however, the PSPM identifies the most general capabilities and resources needed to complete the project.
One important project management decision refers to whether to establish a formal project management process. Currently, there are two established methods of managing software projects. The first method involves establishing a project management board structure. In the salt phase, project managers begin the process by selecting individuals who will serve on the board. Individuals are nominated based on their knowledge and experience on the project. At the end of the sdlc phase, the project manager selects individuals who are best suited to manage specific areas of the project.
The second form of project management involves establishing oversight controls. Osteogaming is the process by which project management controls software applications that facilitate implementation. Project supervision controls refer to the program area managed projects that contain software applications that implement specific business requirements. Project supervision controls are established to provide guidance to project managers during project execution. The project management software provides project supervisors with assistance in performing oversight functions. The software assists in establishing objectives and directing implementation.
When the project reaches a certain level of complexity, it is necessary to have a centralized database that contains all project information. The program office then begins the process of integration, transformation, and administration of this information. The program office converts the technical information into a format that can be used by project managers and departmental personnel to plan and prepare for upcoming activities. The program office also creates a database that identifies and tracks project managers. The database enables project managers to effectively coordinate and manage departmental activities, as well as to track performance and expenses.
The third decision refers to the establishment of a centralized tracking system. When the program office establishes a centralized tracking system, all documents (task, outcome, result, etc.) are converted into text files. Project documentation containing reports is then stored in the computer. Project documentation that concur with the recommended practices are circulated to all project management staff and departmental employees, as well as to stakeholders such as customers.
The fourth element refers to the development of an effective project management capability. Ineffective planning, assignment of responsibilities, lack of appropriate supervision, lack of adequate resources, and inaccurate internal and external reporting contribute to a project management inability to meet project goals and objectives. A capability assessment test assesses each element of an organization’s ability to effectively and efficiently deliver capability development. Once the test is positive, senior management must decide whether further development is warranted or not.
The fifth element pertains to establishing performance-based acquisition analysis and approval procedures. Once the project management capability has been assessed, a proposal for acquiring the necessary funding is made. Once the project is approved, an analysis of its cost, schedule, and financial impact is performed. Recommendations are then made concerning revisions to the acquisition program. If the project does not meet the predetermined goal, corrective measures are implemented.
The sixth element focuses on the implementation of acquisition programs. Capital budgeting is done in line with project management systems. It includes project analysis, a capital budget, project management policies, and an effective capital planning committee. The committee is made up of senior management, project managers, IT support staff, and other interested parties. Once the capital budget is approved, a spending plan for the projects is determined. It will cover the estimated cost, scope, and schedule of the project.
The seventh element addresses software requirements analysis. This involves software analysis, risk assessment, and testing procedures that verify the software work and meet objectives. Once these procedures are verified, a requirement list is generated. Based on this list, software vendors are invited to bid on the project. Once a vendor is chosen, the system is implemented and the first phases of implementation begin.
The final phase addresses the identification of the most suitable process for delivering the software. Based on the identified needs, the system is designed and built. During the deployment phase, testing procedures are carried out and software is deployed according to plan. The project management methodology used is primarily based on the project management practices used during the early stages of the project.
These are just some of the project management practices that project managers can apply to achieve project success. Although this list is not exhaustive, it does highlight the key elements needed in project management and successful implementation. Project management begins at the beginning and there should be a specific plan for each phase of execution. Appropriate planning ensures that project managers are able to address the key stakeholders and to have a smooth execution. Project management practices such as cost analysis, identification of requirements, use of resources, testing procedures, software procurement, identification of risks, project management strategies, usage of technology, quality assurance, identification of goals and milestones, utilization of technology in practice, monitoring the results of the project, and continuous improvement are crucial to project success. Thus, effective project management is crucial for successful implementation of infrastructure projects.